Why Paramount Is No Longer Moving ‘Top Gun: Maverick’s’ Release Date

KEY POINTS

  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was originally set for release in December 2020, is now slated for a May 2022 premiere
  • Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said he asked Paramount to rethink the 2022 schedule for the project
  • Gelfond said many people are now coming back to theaters despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Paramount is no longer moving the scheduled release date of “Top Gun: Maverick” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The film and television production and distribution company turned down Imax CEO Richard Gelfond’s suggestion to have an earlier premiere date for the Tom Cruise-starrer now that more people are coming back to the theaters, Deadline reported Monday.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” which was originally set for release in December 2020, is now slated for a May 27, 2022, debut on the big screen. But before it was rescheduled for 2022, the movie was supposed to be released in cinemas on Nov. 19 of this year.

Earlier this month, Paramount announced its decision to move the tentpole project to next year due to the rising concerns over the delta coronavirus variant, according to CNBC.

However, things have significantly changed on the side of movie theater performance in recent weeks despite the surge in COVID-19 infections, causing Gelfond to believe that it would be ideal for Paramount to stick to “Top Gun: Maverick’s” 2021 release date instead. But when the Imax CEO brought this up with Paramount, his suggestion was turned down.

“I have spent a lot of time close to a lot of the decision makers at Paramount and… in ‘Top Gun’ they think they have something very special. Tom Cruise waited more than 35 years to make that movie. I think they just feel that for that franchise, and with that kind of quality, they want to make sure the box office is 100%,” Gelfond was quoted as saying by Deadline.

He continued, “It is so good as a matter of fact I tried to urge them [to keep the date] because I think that whatever conditions there are, people would flock to see it. But I think they just want perfect conditions around it.”

Gelfond went on to admit that he was disappointed when he found out about Paramount’s final decision on the release of the highly anticipated film. But he noted that the move “will not be very negative” for them and will be a “tremendous positive in 2022.”

“Maverick” has the potential to become a billion-dollar grossing film as it is the sequel to the 1986 hit movie that grossed $357 million worldwide during its release period.

The movie will still follow Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. About 30 years into his career as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Maverick will be tasked to train a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission that will demand the ultimate sacrifice, according to the film’s official summary.

Aside from Cruise, the movie also stars Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Monica Barbaro and Lewis Pullman.

A new poster of “Top Gun: Maverick” has been released online. Photo: Top Gun/Facebook

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